Trader Dan

4″ x 6″ Linocut on Somerset paper
with Graphic Chemical vine-black ink.

His father took a day from selling cars

to take him to an antique car museum

in Cucamonga. Riding down the road,

the two of them together, all alone,

the boy remembered something he had heard

about a Cucamonga berry but

the fields they passed were only growing grapes.

He turned towards his father, “Do you know

where Cucamonga berries grow? I thought

I’d see them somewhere near.” His father glanced

at him then pointed at a vineyard. “That’s

the only berry growing here. It looks

to me like you’ve a little growing up

to do. You’re either stupid or naive

to fall for Cucamonga berries, son,

and either one will get you nowhere fast.

You need the brains God gave you, to survive.”

He rolled the window down and cleared his throat

and spat. “A Cucamonga berry! Don’t

you ever hear what people say to you?

You have to listen to them, what they say

and what they mean, and know the difference from

a lie and when they’re telling you the truth.”

He spat again and rolled the window up.